Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Summer Projects–The Office


       We had a very busy and very productive summer.  We definitely managed to make a lot of progress on both of our properties.  Hubby and I opened our business fifteen and a half years ago, and, the last time we had done any painting or work to the office was before that.  So, it is definitely time for some fresh paint and some organizing.  This year we started by painting the hallway walls and painting and re-organizing the little office where I work. The paint definitely looked old and dated, and, the was a border along the middle which my son started removing for us years ago when he spent his days with us at the office while we were working.


       The finished project looks wonderful – thanks to my brother-in-law! Amazing what a fresh coat of paint will do.  The hallways look so nice and bright now. 


     We also managed to paint my little office and de-clutter that room.  Unfortunately I did not take a picture of this room before we did the work which is a shame because the change is unbelievable.  This little room held two desks, a card table in the corner between the two desks, a large filing cabinet and a bulletin board on the wall.  It felt so small and claustrophobic.  A fresh coat of paint and some shelves on the wall help to keep everything organized with just one desk and a small filing cabinet!  I love it!  Such a much more pleasant room to be in at work now.


    Such a great start!  And, I already have my projects for next summer all lined up!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Cleaning Out


     One of the big projects I have been working on this summer is cleaning out and sorting through all the stuff that has accumulated in our office and home.  I dislike clutter and years of letting things build up has created a lot of it.  Thus, I decided that it was time to tackle it all.  This summer we started to have all of our business files scanned and put onto a flash drive (special thanks to my sister for this) so we are now able to shred all the paper files.  Additionally, I went through all the old boxes of back taxes and old papers and added that to the mix.  Tomorrow, a mobile shredder is coming to our office to shred all of that paper, and, I am sad to admit that I am really excited about it.  I mean, like Christmas morning excited.  See how pathetic I have become.

    And, this weekend we had another summertime tradition in keeping with the whole clearing out theme – yes, yard sale time!  I was not planning to have a yard sale this year but I heard they were having a town wide yard sale this past Saturday, and, I had already compiled a huge pile of things that I wanted to get rid of – so I thought why not.

yard sale 

    I managed to get rid of the entire pile, plus some more stuff that wasn’t lucky enough to make the picture.  I tend to have a weakness for yard sales – you really can find some really nice things for your home for a real bargain – and could not resist raiding my mother-in-law’s stuff.  I know that there is definitely a lot of junk out there.  Yet, from my own personal experience, often the things I am trying to get rid of are perfectly good items, I just do not need them anymore for one reason or another.


     A shelf she had previously purchased from a yard sale – to me, for free!  You can’t beat it.  A little cleaning, a little paint and that is going on that wall right where the picture was taken.  Love finding a unique item to add to the home.  And, it always feels so good to get stuff done!

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Taking The Work Outside


     It has been a busy summer here.  We have managed to make a lot of progress on the house and our office.  But, I will go over some of those improvements in another post.  This weekend, it was all about doing a little yard work.  Prior to our work outside this weekend our landscaping consisted of keeping the weeds mowed down. This spring we had two loads of topsoil delivered to our house, and, it has been sitting there growing weeds waiting for us to move it. 


   You can see all the lovely weeds that have been growing on top of the soil all summer.  But, this weekend we went outside, de-weeded and pile and started to move the topsoil along the side of the house.  We would like to manage to get all the way across the front before we use up all our soil.

house cornerside

     We made excellent progress the past couple of days.  We are not sure exactly what we are going to do for plants and such at this point.  Whatever we decide it will definitely be low maintenance.  Time for gardening is not in our schedule.  The plan for this year is to seed the areas we do manage to get set, to keep the areas from growing a bunch of new weeds or turning into a mud puddle.  Then, next spring we can determine exactly what we want to do for plants and add them at that time!  Progress!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

I Thought This Was A Little Project


    It all seemed so simple when I first had the idea to refinish my shelf and hang it in the living room.  Yet, as I was standing in the store the other day after picking up a few more paint samples I found myself wandering.  My own version of “If You Give A Mouse A Muffin”.  If I start to think of refinishing an item, I am going to want a remodel to go with it.

     Off to the tile samples.  Trying to decide on a color for the shelf led to thoughts of what colors I want in the laundry room.  After all, you need something that goes with the d├ęcor.  While I am not a matchy matchy type of person, I want things to at least look like they belong.


      Little man hard at work helping me try to decide on tile for around the utility sink area. 

     However, looking at tile samples made me think that I am not really crazy for the utility sink that is currently in the laundry room.  As we were starting to get towards the end of the construction process, time and money were a factor so we made some “temporary” decisions for certain places with the thought that we could update them later.  And, the $15.00 utility sink we installed was definitely one of those “to be redone later” items.  Doesn’t make sense to tile around a utility sink that you do not want to keep.  So, off to the cabinet area I went.


A utility sink option from the home improvement store.

     Much to my husband’s chagrin, my “I want to re-do my shelf” has turned into a full laundry room finishing project it seems.  This weekend I am going to measure the space and lay out a design to develop an idea of where I am headed with the project.  My “dream” utility sink would be a soapstone sink (beautiful) but realistically it is an item which is way out of the budget.  Before I settle though I may spend a little time searching some websites and some local salvage yards to see if I might get lucky!


Thursday, January 16, 2014

Projects Projects Everywhere


      One thing I can say for sure – I definitely do not lack for things that need to be done!  Every where I turn there are projects and finishing work to be completed!  I have already mentioned many of the items that need to be done in our home.  But, lucky me, in addition to all of our home projects, I have a long list of projects that need to be finished on our work building too.  See, my husband and I operate our own business and the building where that business is located.  That location also has a long list of projects waiting for my attention.  It seems the only thing I am lacking in is time to get all of these projects done!

Here is my dungeon office where I work daily.  Definitely in need of a face lift!

IMG_0176  I really want to do a major overhaul in this room!  I spend way too much time in such a blah space!

A fresh coat of paint is needed in much of the office.

IMG_0177  My son removed all the border that was running along the hallways. Ugh.

And some major organizational work needs to be accomplished pronto!


    More items on the to do list!  So many projects, it is hard to decide where to start!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Trim Work And A Tip


      Hubby and I built our home and we moved in to our house in the Spring of 2009.  We actually had to move earlier than we had planned, and, at the time we had not completed ANY of the finishing work on our house.  None of the painting was completed (primer or wall color), trim was not done, fixtures in the bathrooms, closet fixtures, doors and the list goes on and on.  Part of the reason the finishing work was not done was that we just had not reached that point in the building process when we had to move, and, another large factor was money.  The budget ran dry.

      Slowly we have been working towards completing the long list of items trying to complete as much of the work on our own as possible to keep the costs in check.  Most of the painting in the house is complete.  I chose to paint the rooms in light neutral colors.  I picked these types of colors for a couple reasons.  First, the downstairs of our house is somewhat open so the neutral colors flow really well and, in my opinion, makes the sight line very appealing.  Second, I like rooms to feel bright and airy and for me these types of colors give rooms that feel.  Finally, it makes for less painting in the future.  Let’s face it, painting is not my favorite thing.  In the future if I want to change up the look of a room all I need to do is switch out some pillows and accessories and I can have a whole new look without all the effort of painting.

     Another positive of having colors that flow well together is that it has allowed us to make all of the trim work in the house white.  We have used the same style and size for every room in the house.  In order to make the process easier,my hubby paints the boards before he does any of the cutting.  He has decided to complete the downstairs trim work and then he is going to finish the caulking (make sure you use paintable caulk by the way!)  My hubby is going to write a post on the process he uses for completing the trim another day.


     On a completely separate note, here is my tip.  Keep a shoebox with all your paint cards, fabric swatches and floor samples, etc. that you have in the house.


     Whenever I pick out a paint color or fabric I put the card or swatch in my “box” and it comes in so handy as I am picking out an item for a room to be able to grab the swatches and bring them with me.  It also makes it so much easier when I need to buy more paint for a room, I just pull the paint card for that room and voila! 

Friday, January 3, 2014

Happy New Year


    Okay, so 2013 did not end up being very productive!  I only managed to complete one project on my list that I had set out to finish last summer!  Definitely not good.  But, through the month of December I did actually manage to get my workout room primed. Phew.  Felt so good to finally have that completed.  It only took me four and a half years to get it done!  Here is the finished project!


     It seems so good to have the primer painted in that room.  I have started picking out some paint swatches to select the color and finish painting.  I am thinking some color of green because I love that color.  I will keep you posted on the progress of my final house painting project.

      I am determined to make more time this year to work on the projects I want to do in the house.  I really need to make time for the things I enjoy.  It is so easy to let all the obligations of life take over.  My hubby and I built our home and when we moved in five years ago we had run out of budget and with the drop in the economy progress on the house came to a stand still.  Little by little over the last few years we have been working on completing the finishing work ourselves which is more economical but definitely takes a great deal more time.  My husband has been working on our first floor installing the trim.  And, it is looking really nice.  I do not have any pictures today but I will try and post some tomorrow. 

     With so much work to be done on a house it can be hard to focus and finish anything.  I have been trying to plot my own course of action and I have debated between two options.  The first, to pick one room downstairs and to keep focusing on completing that one room.  When that room is done then I would move onto the next until the downstairs is complete and then move up.  The second option is to work on some projects that need to be done upstairs that I have had percolating in my brain.  This plan would not focus on one room per se but rather on specific projects I have in mind.  And, after some thought I have decided to go with option number two.  And, here’s why.  Because option number two would finish off some areas that would create storage solutions and having a place to put things away always makes good sense. 

     Here is my next project:


      I bought this shelf for $20 at a flea market and I am going to sand it down and repaint it.  It is going on the wall in my laundry room over our utility sink.  Here:



The walls are yellow in that room so I am currently contemplating the color choice for the shelf.  But, after that is decided it should be a pretty easy project to complete.  One of my favorite things is to find old pieces at yard sales and flea markets and bring them back to life.  It is amazing what a fresh coat of paint will accomplish.  After that is done, I am thinking finishing the shelving in the laundry room and closet systems for the kids closets!  I love being organized!

   Here’s to a crafty and productive 2014!